4 Keys to Being a Successful Real Estate Team Leader

Eden Sunshine
Vice President, Realty Executives



The number of real estate teams is continuing to grow. Approximately 26% of agents are part of a team. In my experience and observation, great teams are capturing a greater share of the business in some markets compared to individual agents. In good teams, I regularly see agents closing 20-30 transactions per year versus the industry average of four transactions from individual agents.

Being a team leader has its advantages and disadvantages. Having coached and consulted hundreds of the top teams in North America over the last 17 years, I’ve determined that not everyone should be a team leader.

Whether you’re currently a team leader or are considering starting a team, here are some important areas to consider that will maximize your likelihood of success as a leader.

  1. Get Real About Your Being a successful team leader requires making a commitment to helping your team members succeed. The best team leaders tend to be natural coaches and mentors. They are genuine in their desire to help others, even if there is a cost. In the short term, if you are leading your team correctly, it will cost you in comparison to what you can do on your own. The long-term payoff can be fantastic, however. Depending on the commission spilt between you and your team member you might have to have anywhere between 4 and 10 people or more to replace your income you could generate on your own. This means you are going to have to invest time with them. If you aren’t prepared to be a coach and mentor, perhaps staying on your own is a better idea. The number one reason people leave a team is because they didn’t feel supported and coached.

Also, understand it is exceedingly rare that your team members will independently do as much business as you can do yourself. As an example, let’s assume you have a 50/50 commission spilt, which also suggests that you are providing A LOT OF VALUE to your team members, and your people are doing 25% of what you could do on your own, you would need four team members to replace your income. To effectively support four people, you will likely be spending 8-16 hours per week away from your real estate income-producing activities.

It is vital to get real about your intention and the cost. Being a team leader can be economically beneficial, but you are going to have to invest time, training, and energy.


  1. Be Ready to Change your Job and The best team leaders make the shift from being a great real estate agent to becoming the CEO of a real estate team. Often, I will ask ‘wanna be’ team leaders the question “What do you love and ultimately want to do in your real estate business?” If they respond by saying, “Work with sellers, get new business and negotiate” or something like that, I will often suggest that being a team leader is not for them. However, if they want to develop and coach people while building a profitable, scalable business, they have the makings of a good team leader. Great team leaders see themselves as the CEO of a real estate business.


  1. Don’t Neglect or Underestimate the Importance of Often one of the primary reasons that an agent joins a team is they don’t want to work alone. Being a real estate agent can be a very independent and lonely business that is simply not suited for some. A strong culture will support collaboration, a team environment, proactive and consistent coaching and support. Great team cultures and investing in your people requires being proactive and intentionality. As suggested before, great team leaders spend at least 2 hours per week minimum per team member in culture and team development activities.


  1. Systems are the Key to By the time you’ve gotten to the point of building a team you’ve probably achieved some notable success as an agent yourself. Translating “How” you’ve been successful in documented systems and processes will be the key to your team’s success. How you generate leads, convert prospects into listings or buyers, manage a transaction and every other function that takes place in a real estate business must be documented on paper if you want consistent and predictable results. Expecting your team to produce the results without systems is a major mistake. When you choose to build a team it’s critical to build a systems-driven environment.

In conclusion, once you decide to be a team leader you assume a whole new set of responsibilities in your business. In fact, to really be successful, it requires a major shift in your job description and the work that you will be doing every day.

Interested in talking about building a team or discussing strategies to help you develop your current team, let’s chat. Visit me at www.edensunshine.com and pick a time on my calendar for a FREE, no cost or obligation conversation.

Eden Sunshine is an entrepreneur, the creator of The Level 7 System, a speaker, author and Vice President of Operations for Realty Executive in Phoenix Arizona. Eden has coached and consulted with over 300 of the top Real Estate agents and teams throughout the USA and Canada since 2003. Eden specializes in helping businesses become scalable, positioned for exponential growth and productivity while establishing a meaningful, high performing business culture.

Eden developed the Level 7 System, which is a one of a kind, simple and systematic business development approach that guides businesses to become scalable, systems driven with great cultures. He also has developed other ancillary programs like the Systemize Your Business in 90 Days Program. He is in the process of publishing two books: The Book on Building Great Businesses and Woo Hoo: Successfully Transforming Your Business and Your World.